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Cell Phones and Cancer: Sorting Out the Facts

By Chris Iliades, MD

Some concerns about cell phone use and cancer include:
The radio waves put out by cell phones are a form of radiation. Although the type of radiation does not seem to be powerful enough to cause cancer, researchers are still studying the long-term effects. The number of people using cell phones has increased rapidly since the 1990s. About 87 percent of Americans now use cell phones. It may still be too early to see the long-term effects of this amount of cell phone use. Some studies suggest a weak link between cell phone use and some types of malignant or benign tumors. One study done in Sweden found an elevated risk of acoustic neuroma, which is a benign tumor of the head and neck, after 10 years of cell phone use. Another European study found an increased risk of a brain tumor on the same side of the head as the side used to talk on a cell phone.

What Does the Weight of the Evidence Show?
A long-term study of 420,000 cell phone users in Denmark did not find any relationship between cell phones and cancer after 10 years. Another large international study, called Interphone, whose results were released in 2010, also found no link between cell phone use and brain tumors. The American Cancer Society comes to the following conclusions based on the available studies of cell phones and cancer:

People with brain tumors do not have a higher rate of cell phone use.
The risk of getting a brain tumor does not increase with more cell phone use.
Most studies do not show a relationship between the side of the head used for cell phones and brain tumors.

Much more at Cell Phones and Cancer.

I know it seems like cell phones might increase cancer risk–there just isn’t much evidence to support the assumption.
Feel good and keep smiling! Pat

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